15 @ Mannum

15 @ Mannum was a vibrant, fast-paced ‘catch-your-breath’ speakers event. Its premise was simple. 15 speakers are given the option to curate 15 slides, each shown for 15 seconds, giving a total of 3 minutes and 45 seconds to speak. By imposing a set timeframe we level the playing field and create equality where the untrained enthusiast can present next to the polished CEO.

15@Mannum was held at The Barn, 76 Cliff Street, Mannum on Friday 24 October, 6pm.


The history of forums, where ideas, philosophies, politics and big picture thinking are discussed and shared can be traced back to ancient Romans and Greeks and further. More recently festivals of ideas have become big city tourist ventures and in the digital age we can log on to a TED talk or podcast anytime to get our fill of “challenging” and “dangerous” concepts.

A common element that makes all of these presentations digestible is the art of good story telling. A truly good story teller can portray a lived experienced whilst sharing dangerous and challenging ideas with humour and profundity that touches the listener on a visceral level.

15 @ Mannum introduces these notions of the grand and big, the profound and visceral to a regional town in South Australia.

The curators Tess Minnet and Esther Chew collected a range of speakers from sportspeople, artists, community leaders and local characters. These people spent time thinking about their personal connection to the topic Resilience, under the theme of Bounce shared with the 75 people in the audience that night a story, a thought, some ideas.

The concept behind 15@Mannum is essentially people and stories.

For this project Country Arts SA invested in local people from the Mid Murray Council Area and Adelaide to tell stories within the set timeframe and structure. In this case the time frame was 15 slides at 15 seconds each – giving each speaker 3 minutes 45 seconds each to take the stage with their story.

The evening’s speakers were curated by Tess Minnet, Arts & Cultural Development Officer, Mid Murray Council in collaboration with Esther Chew, Mulloway Studio. They were given the topic ‘Resilience As Process’ to work from by the Country Arts SA, Creative Producer, Steve Mayhew. Both Tess and Esther chose the snappier theme “Bounce” for the evening’s presentations to revolve around.

Mulloway Studio was identified as a collaborators for this project as;

  • Their integrated practice has included regional communities.
  • Their approach relies strongly on consultation, with intensive information gathering, establishing needs, and client briefings. Spending time on-site understanding the microclimate, the landscape, traces of past occupation and the people they are designing for.
  • They regularly held 15×15’s in their own office as a part of their design and community practice.

Tess Minnet’s position is funded by the Mid Murray Council and Country Arts SA through the Creative Communities Partnership Program.


The 15 concept has been adapted by Mulloway Studios to use regularly in their design and architecture practice to foster and stimulate cross disciplinary ideas.

Staff members of Country Arts SA have used and presented in a similar format often titled PECHA KUCHA. PECHA KUCHA (pronounced pe cha cha) means chit chat in Japanese and is a presentation style in which 20 slides are shown for 20 seconds each (6 minutes and 40 seconds in total).

At the time of the project Country Arts SA and Mid Murray Council’s partnership was only 18months old. It was an opportunity for Country Arts SA to use the partnership discreetly and do some research about the area’s capacity, its people and stories.

As a result Country Arts SA’s Creative Producer placed one of the speakers Susie Skinner as an artist in residence in the region for the 2015 This Is A River residencies. You can read about this project as it develops HERE.





6:30pm Friday 24th October 2014




Country Arts SA and Mulloway Studio


The Barn, Mannum

About the Company

Mulloway Studio

Mulloway Studio is an innovative, creative and passionate design firm that works in the fields of Architecture, Urban Design, Interpretation, Interiors, Artworks, Exhibition Design, and Conservation.

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Country Arts SA recognises and respects that we are living and creating on Aboriginal Lands and we are committed to working together to honour their living cultures.